Scraptoft Witches Cave

Witches cave
Scraptoft Witches Cave.

In a small woods on the east side of Leicester lays a very unusual small building.  A tiny dwelling of one room, complete with a furnace that’s surrounded by a decoration of shells and set into a tall mound of earth.

Many stories and legends seem to be associated with the “cave”.

I remember as a child there used to be shells set into the fireplace


The dwelling is located in a small woods next to the new housing development on the outskirts of Scraptoft.

This land used to be next to the Scraptoft De Montfort University Campus.

Before this is was part of the gardens of Scaptoft Hall (Which still stands today) which was once owned by the Wigley Family.

Black Annis.

The most popular story told when teenagers explore the woods is that it was once home to a witch.

The story changes between each group and these stories are then passed down to future generations so each telling is different.

Most stories of witches that are told in Leicester include a variant of the tale of Black Annis.

In Short, Black Annis is a bogeyman figure in Leicester folklore, she is said to be a blue-faced hag with iron claws and a taste of human flesh, especially children.

More information on Black Annis can be found on The Leicester Chronicle article by clicking here (article in the works).

What was “Witches Cave” actually was used for.

Unfortunately, the dwelling has nothing to do with anything of the Paranormal.

It was, in fact, a pagoda type building used by the Wigley family of Scaptoft Hall to entertain guests with a magnificent view over their gardens and a distant view towards Bradgate. This would have been mid 18th century

The pagoda would have sit on top of the large earth mound and the shell lined grotto underneath would have been used for heating and cooking. The building was also used for storage and possibly an icehouse.

It is said to be designed by James Wigley (who died in 1765)

An example of the structure that would have been on top of the earth mound (Not Scraptoft)

The Leicester Chronicle plans to do a video tour of this location. Please follow us on Facebook, Youtube and Twitter to stay updated.

If you have any more information about the above article could you please contact The Leicester Chronicle via Facebook.

Book Recommendations.

If you are interested in the paranormal stories of Leicester then we recommend the following book (Click on the images or links below)

Haunted Leicester

“A creepy collection of true-life tales from local writer Andrew James Wright, who regularly gives talks on the subject of hauntings in Leicester..”

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Thomas is fascinated by the city's long and varied history. He also hates to discuss himself in the third person but can be persuaded to do so from time to time.


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